Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Capeless in Southeastern Queens

Progressive Southside laments the loss of its capes to McMansions:

We're Losing Our Capes!



Top photo from Progressive Southside. Bottom photo from OuterB.com.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

There isn't a cape or ranch style house existing in Queens that won't eventually be expanded to the max !

Them's the sad facts folks !

That's "progress"......gag.....up-chuck !

KG2V said...

Of course they will be upsized. Let's just look at it from simple economics. Let's say you're up in Bayside, and let's be conservative with prices (the higher the prices, the worse)

You have a 40x100 lot, with a cape on it - it'll cost you say, 600K. Of that cost, what is the cost of the land, and what is the cost of the house?

What it really comes down to is you have $475-$500K of LAND, and a 100K house (if that)

Now, let's say you are someone looking for a larger house, you can look for a larger house on the same 40x100, and they exist (say a Gross Morton B or C instead of a A), you can TRY to afford say, a 60x100, but that's going to cost you a couple hundred grand more, or you can buy a cape, and rebuild

The thing is, folks want things like central air, a larger house, modern kitchens, modern wiring (both electrical and electronic) and the like.

The simple economics is:
If you have a, say 50 year old cape, and the buyer can afford $600K, he's probably going to want a new kitchen, a new bathroom, central air, and new wiring. Once you want those - the added cost is trivial to non existant to rip the cape down, and put up a larger house (easier to build than rebuild)

Do I like it? No

Do I understand it? Yes - it's simple economics that comes with land prices in NYC being what they are vs the price of building

The ONLY way to stop what is happening is to say "8 million people in NYC is ENOUGH - let's NOT be freindly to an enlarging population in NYC". The problem is, with cities, it's usually "grow or die"

Liman said...

Look at that picture. It's QueensCrap Standard Design 1.1, except the regulation every-new-house-has-to-have-one useless two-story arch over the center front door (note large non-window opening) is NOT the entrance. They decided to put the door on the right, but didn't know how to vary the cookie cutter pattern of the house. So it looks lopsided to boot. These builders take NO care whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

I love older houses(colonials, Tudors, Victorians), but capes are cookie cutter houses from the 50s -- nothing but a rectangle with a roof. The McMansion is an improvement in this case.

Anonymous said...

A lot of these capes are cookie cutter inexpensive houses mass-produced after WWII to handle the population increase. I don't see the problem replacing them with bigger, better, nicer, higher quality houses. We should fight to stop cheap, multi-family housing in inappropriate locations, but we should welcome development that improves upon old stock.

Anonymous said...

Every cape that was ever built was designed to be expanded "kg2v"......that's why they were originally refered to in the 1950s as "expandable capes".

I'm upchucking because many will be over-expanded into monstrously scaled boxy Mc Mansions, Garage Mahals, etc.

Anonymous said...

" with cities, it's usually 'grow or die' "

The most livable cities, like Paris or Rome, or S.F. or Boston, are stable and well planned.

Take a look at many of the midwestern and southern midlevel cities known for their quality of life.

You got to the third world where services lag far behind demand and
squalor is the norm to find a model that 2030 aspires to.

The point is that more people does nothing for the people living here (unless you hire domestic staff or are an absentee landlord)

Our taxes should go to imrove our services to the level of those places that are considered ideal, not as a means to shorehorn more people.

Anonymous said...

The top picture is an ugly pile of shit.